We went for a drive all around the gold fields today (Bonanza, Sulphur, Eureka, Dominion, and Hunker roads) knowing that the snow is coming tomorrow and that’ll likely mark the end of any adventures until the roads are snowed in and ready for the snowmobile!
The sun isn’t rising until after 9am now, which meant we didn’t have to get up too early 🙂
Almost every gold camp has shut down now, except for a few guys still moving dirt around. Hard to sluice when the water is likely to freeze. The lakes and waterholes are frozen, and the rivers are partially frozen.
The glaciers have already started covering the roads in spots. This is where a seep of water slowly crosses the road (despite not having any rain in a month) and it builds higher and higher with solid ice. These are nerve wracking to cross at the best of times. I don’t even like them on the snow mobile.
This big one wasn’t all frozen. We got half way through and suddenly both front wheels dropped down through the ice, leaving the frame of the truck sitting on the ice. 😱 Scary! Jeff was able to get us out. It happened again while crossing another glacier on Eureka, and we just couldn’t go forward, so we backed out of the ice and turned around. We later heard someone rolled a fuel truck out here recently. We met almost no one all day, except for a flat bed semi bringing a dozer to town, and his pilot vehicle.
Despite looking like slush, it really isn’t, it’s hard ice built up on top of the road, and it is only in the middle where Jeff’s up to the top of his boots where your wheels fall through.
Jeff decided we could run the left tires up on the frozen dirt ridge of the road, and maybe just one of our wheels would sink. He wants to mount a winch on the truck for precisely moments like this, should we get really stuck, but there wasn’t a tree close enough anyway.
Jeff’s plan worked though! We easy got through it this time!
We stopped at an old roadhouse for lunch. HA just kidding, this roadhouse hasn’t been serving lunch for years 😉
When you’re driving around the gold fields, especially this time of year when the leaves are off the trees, you can see so many old cabins, big old steam boilers, old and forgotten dozers and excavators and trucks. There is 120 years of gold mining history in this area. I love seeing all these artifacts of yesteryear.
That never stops me from wandering around. Look how big of a stove pipe it must have had.
There were a couple out buildings here too.
Finally the sun was fully up and gorgeous after 11am.
The truck is so dusty and still covered with dead summer bugs, and now frozen slush. Have I mentioned Jeff’s new lights he had installed on the front grill? They are LED lights. That’s a spot light bar in the middle, and the smaller square ones are flood lights. They can light up a spec of parsley in your front teeth from about 10 miles away with your lips shut. Seriously. They’re going to be awesome for driving in the dark to Whitehorse and back this winter.